Friday, March 11, 2011

Surgery-Induced Cancer Metastasis - Part 2

Surgery Increases Cancer Cell Adhesion
Cell adhesion is a mechanism where cancer cells that have broken away from the primary tumor to boost their ability to form metastases in distant organs. These cancer cells must be able to clump together and form colonies that can expand and grow. Cancer cells use adhesion molecules—such as galectin-3—to which is present on the surface of cancer cells by allowing free-standing cancer cells to adhere to each other. Cancer cells circulating (CTC) in the bloodstream uses galectin-3 surface adhesion molecules to latch onto the lining of blood vessels is an essential step for the process of metastasis. A cancer cell that cannot adhere to the blood vessel wall will eventually meet white blood cells and get destoyed. If the CTC successfully bind to the blood vessel wall and burrow their way through the basement membrane, they will then utilize galectin-3 adhesion molecules to adhere to the organ to form a new metastatic cancer.

Combating Cancer Cell Adhesion
In one experiment that mimicked surgical conditions, scientists reported that the binding of cancer cells to the blood vessel walls was increased by 250%, compared to cancer cells not exposed to surgical conditions. Therefore, it is critically important for the person undergoing cancer surgery to take measures that can help to neutralize the surgery-induced increase in cancer cell adhesion.

A natural supplement called modified citrus pectin (MCP) can do just that. Citrus pectin—a type of dietary fiber—is not absorbed from the intestine. So the citrus pectin has been altered so that it can be absorbed into the blood and exert its anti-cancer effects. The MCP inhibits cancer cell adhesion by binding to galectin-3 adhesion molecules on the surface of cancer cells, thereby preventing cancer cells from sticking together and forming a cluster. An experiment showed that MCP blocked adhesion of galectin-3 to the lining of blood vessels by an astounding 95%. MCP also substantially decreased the adhesion of breast cancer cells to the blood vessel walls. In a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, lung metastasis was noted in 93% of the control group, whereas only 50% of the MCP group experienced lung metastasis. Even more noteworthy was the finding that the modified citrus pectin group had an 89% reduction in the size of the metastatic colonies, compared to the control group. In a similar experiment, mice injected with melanoma cancer cells that were fed modified citrus pectin experienced a greater than 90% reduction in lung metastasis compared to the control group. A prostate cancer study showed 22% of the men experienced a stabilization of their disease or improved quality of life; 12% had stable disease for more than 24 weeks.

Note: The prostate cancer study subjects already suffered from advanced disease. Patients should initiate MCP supplementation before surgical procedures to prevent metastatic colonies from being established.

A well-known over-the-counter medication, Cimetidine—commonly known as Tagamet®—is a drug historically used to alleviate heartburn. A growing body of scientific evidence has revealed that cimetidine also possesses potent anti-cancer activity. Cimetidine inhibits cancer cell adhesion by blocking the expression of an adhesive molecule—called E-selectin—on the surface of cells lining blood vessels. In a report published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2002, 64 colon cancer patients received chemotherapy with or without cimetidine (800 mg per day) for one year. The 10-year survival for the cimetidine group was almost 90%. This is in stark contrast to the control group, which had a 10-year survival of only 49.8%. Remarkably, for those patients with a more aggressive form of colon cancer, the 10-year survival was 85% in those treated with cimetidine compared to a dismal 23% in the control group. Another study with colorectal cancer patients showed cimetidine given for just seven days at the time of surgery increased three-year survival from 59% to 93%!

This data provides a compelling case for cancer patients, at least five days prior to surgery, to ingest at least 14 grams of modified citrus pectin and 800 mg of cimetidine daily. This combination regimen may be followed for a year or longer to reduce metastatic risk.

To be continued.

1 comment:

  1. CT,

    Thanks for the good news of citrus pectin and cimetidine.

    I really appreciate all the research you do; and although I do not comment everyday, I make sure and read your posts.

    Thanks for the enlightenment,